Grantee Blog

A Walk in a Hoop House

This month Farmer Jon took the taste test outside to our new hoop house.  The Montessori children bundled up and ventured to CFET’s garden.  Luckily it was not too cold out, but it was even warmer inside the hoop house where many plants have been growing all winter.

The children were very careful to mostly walk on the straw lined pathways so that only a few plants were trampled.  They spent a few minutes identifying the different vegetables growing in the hoop house.  Then, they formed two lines and took turns digging up carrots.  Every child pulled out a baby carrot of their own and brushed the dirt off.

Carrots that are overwintered are much sweeter than carrots grown during the heat of summer.  This is because the cold stimulates the plant to turn more of its starches into sugar, making for a very delicious treat for those that decide to grow them in the late fall and through the winter months.

The adventurous group headed into the greenhouse where they rinsed and scrubbed everyone’s carrot.  Then finally it was time to eat them.  One child wanted to know: “why do rabbits like these so much?”  Another asked if she could have another one, and after finding out that it was only one per customer, she found a classmate who was not interested in the second half of his carrot.  So, she happily polished it off for him before any adults could intervene with warnings about germs and food safety.

About the Grantee

Center for Environmental Transformation (CFET)

The Center for Environmental Transformation (CFET) manages three gardens in Camden. CFET has an innovative youth program that uses urban agriculture to develop young people’s skills and teaches healthy eating. We host service learning retreats focused on the environment and food justice.